Job Action Shouldn’t Worry Parents

Greater Essex County District School Board Trustee Tom Kilpatrick, right, and trustee Ron LeClair, June 2, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

Public school board officials don’t know how or if students will be impacted by teacher job action in September, but they say parents shouldn’t be worried.

“A lot of this stuff is up in the air right now,” says Tom Kilpatrick, teacher negotiations spokesperson for the Greater Essex County District School Board.

High school teachers have reached a tentative deal, but elementary unions have not. They’ve stepped up job action to include not participating in field trips, among other things.

“We really have no comment on the latest announcements regarding sanctions with the elementary teachers,” says Kilpatrick. “They are in a legal strike position, as you know, however since negotiations are going to be scheduled for the first part of September, any sanctions in that group could affect the students.”

Kilpatrick says parents will be kept informed as new details develop.

“We hope for the students and the parents and the staff of the board we do get settlements in all of these agreements, so we can get things back to normal as quickly as possible because it is a strain, as we understand, on the entire community,” he says.

Two sets of negotiations are taking place right now at the provincial and local levels. Once a deal is reached and ratified in Toronto, the local issues can be finalized.